With the preseason winding down, it’s time to see if Jesse Marsch and his men can get some momentum going to head into the regular season. As their last preseason scrimmage ended in a 4-1 loss to NASL’s Jacksonville Armada, the Red Bulls will look to rebound from the loss against HB Koge.
HB Koge play in Denmark’s First Division, the second-tier league in Danish soccer. They’ve been enjoying a pretty lengthy winter break, having played their last league match on November 30th in a rare win against Horsens- use the word "midseason" very loosely here. The club currently sits in eighth place in their 12-team league, having only seen four wins in their seventeen games so far. One point above the relegation zone, HB Koge are looking to get off on the right foot in 2015.
With a young roster on their hands, The Swans currently have a -10 goal difference, which seems to suggest that they have trouble both scoring and defending. They only have 14 goals this season, with ten of them coming from a combination of two players: Bruninho and Brandao. If Koge does manage to find the back of the net, one of these two will most likely be the culprit.
The Red Bulls are looking to finalize their roster for the regular season, which would go a long way towards figuring out who is playing with NYRB II. Five new trialists were added to the roster ahead of the trip to Bradenton, with Dane Richards and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado among them. Whether or not they make it onto the first team depends on their performances in this tournament, so keep an eye on these two.
I doubt that Jesse Marsch is going to use a full strength lineup for this match, as Koge pose little threat offensively. The match represents a good opportunity to get a look at trialists, such as Mike Grella, while also testing the squad's fitness. If you want to see a prediction for an ideal starting lineup anyway, I tried my best to read Marsch's mind earlier this week.
IMG Suncoast Pro Classic - February 18 - Red Bulls vs. HB Koge
Start Time: 5:00 pm (Eastern)
Online Stream: www.imgacademy.com